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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Federal Initiative Spearheads Partnership to Preserve Buffer Lands at Ft. Huachuca, Pax River

  • April 9, 2015
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Three federal agencies on Wednesday designated Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River-Atlantic test ranges, Md., as Sentinel Landscapes, a collaborative effort to promote working lands, protect wildlife habitat and ensure military readiness.
The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership — led by the departments of Agriculture, Defense and Interior — aims to preserve the lands most compatible with the military’s need for undeveloped environments to conduct its sensitive testing mission, according to a press release. “Military lands are often home to some of our nation’s best remaining habitat for wildlife, and provide an excellent opportunity to conserve species that are threatened or endangered,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell …

DOD Moving Back into Cheyenne Mountain

  • April 9, 2015
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Less than a decade after largely abandoning the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado, the Defense Department is moving communications gear into the facility to protect it from electromagnetic pulses. “Because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain is built, it’s EMP-hardened,” Adm. William Gortney, commander of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday. “It wasn’t really designed to be that way, but the way it was constructed makes it that way …

Not Clear What Hoops DOD Needs to Jump through to Gain BRAC Approval

  • April 8, 2015
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It’s no secret that most lawmakers are adamantly opposed to additional base closures and even after the Obama administration in February made its fourth request since 2012 for permission to hold a new BRAC round, it’s not clear that the Pentagon has made any headway with Congress. In fact, it’s difficult to find any lawmaker who will stand up for BRAC. In a story about the growing imbalance between DOD’s infrastructure and its force structure, Federal News Radio contacted six lawmakers who previously had said they would consider the department’s request to consolidate its infrastructure. None, however, agreed to comment for the story …

Chesapeake Contemplates Purchases to Protect Military Facilities from Encroachment

  • April 8, 2015
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The city of Chesapeake, Va., plans to purchase 60 acres to protect Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field and Hampton Roads Naval Support Activity, Northwest Annex from encroachment. The city still is negotiating with the owners over the purchase price for the farmland, reports the Virginian-Pilot. Half of the cost would be reimbursed by the Navy and the state. City officials plan to use their Fentress Encroachment Acquisition Program to purchase the property surrounding the auxiliary landing field …

Mississippi Lawmakers Approve Limited Funding for Project Supporting Columbus AFB

  • April 8, 2015
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The Mississippi Legislature has approved a bond bill allowing the state to borrow $2.25 million to fund the extension of a recreational path from the city of Columbus to Columbus Air Force Base, enough to start the project but well short of the $25 million measure House lawmakers passed in February. “I had high hopes,” state Rep. Jeff Smith (R) told the Columbus Dispatch. “In the back of my mind, I was always worried we’d get nothing. The main thing we were able to get was the House and Senate to understand we would be back every year [asking for more funding]. We knew all along it would be a multi-year project, and we will be coming back next year …

Garrison Commanders Grapple with Budget Constraints

  • April 7, 2015
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At a two-day conference for Army garrison commanders and command sergeants major last month, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, addressed the challenge of running an installation amid tight fiscal constraints. “We have to weigh risks daily,” Hammack said. “What’s acceptable loss? Compare loss of life to buildings that decay a little faster … grass that grows a little higher? Gen. Halverson and I are okay with the grass growing higher if it means that the troops are trained, ready and properly equipped …

Navy Issues Impact Statement for Training Facilities on Marianas

  • April 7, 2015
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The Navy on Monday released a draft environmental impact statement for the construction of live-fire ranges, training courses and maneuver areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) needed to support the realignment of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. “Establishing unit and combined level [range training areas] in the CNMI would support ongoing operational requirements, changes to U.S. force structure, geographic repositioning of forces and U.S. training relationships with allied nations,” according to the April 6 Federal Register notice. The Navy’s preferred alternatives for the training facilities are on the islands of Tinian and Pagan …

Texas Communities Await Verdict on Sequestration, Army Downsizing

  • April 6, 2015
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Local officials throughout Texas are increasingly alarmed about the prospect that stringent caps on Pentagon spending first imposed in 2013 will remain in place through the end of the decade. Already, defense communities in Texas have been hurt by the furlough of civilian workers, the loss of active-duty personnel and attrition in civilian personnel, reported the San Antonio Express-News. On the immediate horizon is an Army determination expected this summer on how it will allocate the elimination of up to 70,000 active-duty troops by fiscal 2020. Forts Hood and Bliss, and Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston potentially could lose thousands of soldiers and civilian workers, but advocates for each of those posts believe the strong level of support provided by their host communities should shield them from the worst cuts …

OEA to Support Communities Facing Encroachment from Commercial Energy Development

  • April 5, 2015
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Communities interested in intervening when a commercial energy project could interfere with military activities now can apply for planning assistance from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to limit potential conflicts with installations, ranges, training routes or special use airspace. States, counties, municipalities and other public entities, along with tribal nations, are eligible for community adjustment planning assistance under the program to ensure an energy project does not jeopardize DOD’s test, training and military operations. Examples of conflicts with military activity include low-level flight obstructions caused by wind turbines or solar power towers, electromagnetic interference from high-voltage electrical transmission lines, and glint and glare from photovoltaic arrays and solar power towers near military airfields …

Developer Suspends Maryland Wind Project that Posed Risk to Pax River

  • April 5, 2015
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The developer of a proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore said it was placing the project in “indefinite suspension” after it could not overcome concerns by the state’s congressional delegation that the project would interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The Great Bay Wind project, located across the Chesapeake Bay from the air station, had survived a move last year by Maryland lawmakers to delay its construction until MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory could evaluate ways to mitigate the turbines’ impact on the radar system after then- Gov. Martin O’Malley vetoed the bill. In response, however, Sen. Barbara Mikulski — who was chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee — added language to the committee report of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill barring the Navy from reaching a deal with Pioneer Green Energy to turn off the turbines during radar testing at Pax River until MIT completes its study …

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